With the increase of motorized vehicles over the past century, the number of animal deaths due to cars has continued to rise. In the US alone, there are roughly one million animals killed yearly. In order to protect the precious wildlife, countries have begun building paths, tunnels, and overpasses. These can be used by the animals to safely cross from one area of the road to the other. Here are some of the most interesting examples from around the world.
Monkey Bridge – Brazil
Brazil is a country covered in rainforest and heavily wooded areas. Because of this, the animals of that habitat often find themselves intermingling with their two-legged neighbors. This is dangerous, though, when it comes to speeding cars.
In order to keep wildlife, like monkeys, safe from becoming roadkill, many local areas have put up these rope bridges over the roads. This helps the monkeys travel from treetop to treetop, even when there are no trees, and they can do so safely.
Elephant Underpass – Kenya
This animal bridge is not so much for the safety of this animal, but more for the safety of the humans driving on the road. It does protect these majestic creatures from harm, as well, though. Imagine driving in a car and after you round the bend, there is a whole herd of elephants.
Hopefully, the driver was following the speed limit, because if not, it would be a catastrophe for both the driver and the animal. Thus, to protect both the human population and the ever-decreasing elephant population, there are several of these massive underpasses built in Kenya.
Animal Overpass – Banff
One of the largest wilderness areas in Alberta is in Banff National Park. Because it is home to tons of cute little creatures, it is very important to have animal overpasses built.
This one in Banff is under construction and will eventually be a lovely addition to the landscape of the park. Not only will it be aesthetically pleasing, but it will save many animals from dangerous conditions.
Ecoduct – Colorado
The Rocky Mountains of Colorado are rife with wildlife, as well, which often move from the crags of the mountains through the valleys. With wide-open spaces that are cut by roads and transportation routes, it can be a very dangerous trek.
Like in Canada, the government of Colorado opted to build ecoducts to ensure not only the animal’s safety but that of the human population, as well. This has saved countless lives.
Animal Overpass – France
Animal crossing first became a thing in the 1950s in France. Thus, some of the oldest crossings are beautifully crafted over the freeways and railway tracks in the French countryside. This one, in particular, is an amazing and lushly green path that allows animals to safely usher their young over the dangerous tracks.
From deer to rabbits and everything in between, these animals are capable of using this bridge to avoid speeding trains as they go from one beautiful village to the next.
Cattle Underpass – Australia
Cattle is a big business in a lot of countries. Australia has its vast, wide-open lands that are primed for cattle ranches. But some roads and freeways cut through this open land.
That means that there is a chance for major loss both with the cattle and with the humans driving on the road. That is why several locations in Australia have built cattle underpasses.
Animal Bridge – Arizona
When people think of animal crossings, most automatically think of vibrant and thick forested areas by the desert that are just full of life.
That is why the Transit Department in Arizona has built several bridges to help the vast amount of wildlife have safe journeys as they trek across the hot Sonoran desert. From coyotes to turtles, this well-built bridge allows them to get from point a to point b.
Amphibian Crossing – California
In California, there are a lot of amphibians and reptiles that have had their environment encroached on. Thus, the Caltrans Division of Environment Planning began developing what they call herptile (both reptile and amphibian) crossings.
Though there is no set documentation on where these creatures cross, adding some of these little tunnels under the roadways have saved many a life. They may not be the furriest and cuddly animals in the world, but they have a purpose in the ecosystem, so protecting them is vital.
Animal Crossing – Alberta
Canada is a country that has so much wilderness that it just makes sense to utilize these structures. With thousands of miles of highways and roads that cut through its natural beauty, constructing crossings to allow deer and other animals to safely pass over the road is a necessity.
The inclusion of these crossings periodically throughout Alberta is not only great for the animals but the drivers, as well. By building these, animal and human lives alike have been saved.
Toad Tunnel – California
In Davis, California, the people got tired of seeing squashed toads on the streets and freeways. In order to protect these amphibians, the people and officials built toad tunnels under the streets.
To make them a bit more festive, people also built little houses and buildings over them so that the toads would feel at home as they entered the tunnels to get to their next destination. It also makes for one cute Instagram post.
Ecoduct – Netherlands
The Netherlands is another country that is laden with wide green spaces that are full of creatures that live off the land. Often, these creatures have to move from place to place to make sure they have enough to eat.
In order to ensure their safety, as well as that of the drivers of this beautiful European country, many of these ecoducts, have been constructed.
Rope Bridge – Australia
Just because an animal flies doesn’t mean it won’t become a casualty of the road. In fact, with larger trucks, parrots and other birds can still be in great danger.
To decrease the occurrence of birds and other creatures being struck by vehicles on the open road, they have built several rope bridges in Australia. These bridges are strung high above the roads and allow the beautiful creatures to reach their destination unharmed and happy.
Wildlife Overpass – New Jersey
New Jersey has a lot more than the shore. It has tons of green spaces, and with the high frequency of traffic, the animals that call these spaces home were constantly in danger.
That is, until New Jersey grabbed onto the idea of wildlife bridges and ran with it. Constructing a few in key areas greatly limited the number of animal deaths due to cars.
Animal Overpass – Ontario
Much like Alberta and the rest of Canada, Ontario is covered with beautiful wilderness. Housed within that wilderness are tons of sweet, adorable animals. To alleviate roadkill and accidents, the government of Ontario opted to build some animal overpasses.
Not only did they build those overpasses, but they decided to decorate the outside with fine images so that the natural beauty of the land is maintained.
Squirrel Bridge – Oregon
We have all seen what happens when a squirrel meets a moving car, and no one wants that. It is sad and tragic, and these little animals are so cute. Thus, the people of Oregon have taken a page from other parts of the world and installed rope bridges across streets and freeways.
These little bridges are not only cute but help the four-legged nut foragers get from tree to tree without having to dodge the giant wheel of human transportation.
Crab Bridge – Australia
On Christmas Island, there is a great crab migration every year. Unfortunately, there were so many of these little red creatures crossing the streets and getting hit by cars.
Therefore, the Australian government decided to build several ways for the crabs to get up and over the thoroughfares of the beautiful island. That is when crab bridges became a thing, and they have saved thousands of crabs every year since they were built.
Ecoduct – Bobbligen, Germany
Germany’s freeways are full of high-speed drivers trying to get from city to city. Along those freeways, there are a lot of farms and woodlands that are full of creatures that migrate to look for new feeding grounds.
This beautiful green ecoduct is a way that deer and other animals can do just that. By building ecoducts like this, the German government has saved thousands of lives.
Animal Underpass – Banff
Canada has built lots of overpasses, but along with those, they have also invested in building a few underpasses. The design of the animal bridges solely has to do with the lay of the land. Sometimes, building an underpass is more effective than an overpass.
Either way, the bears and wild cats of Canada and the Banff National Park will be able to safely arrive at their destination.
Wildlife Overpass – Washington (Keechelus Lakes)
Animals are always moving from the safety of their homes to the local watering hole. That is why, in Washington State, many government organizations pulled together to build these functional and beautiful wildlife bridges near Lake Keechelus.
These bridges serve to allow those animals safe passage to hydration, and it has saved many animals’ lives, as well. It has also decreased the number of car accidents, so the construction of these bridges was quite plainly a life-saving project.
Bee Highway – Oslo
Bees are incredibly important to the environment and have taken a hit due to the growth of cities and the negative impact of cars on the environment. One of the biggest impacts is having buildings and roads in the way of their flight paths.
That is why several places in Oslo have built these bee highways. These structures make it easier for bees to go out to collect pollen and then find their way safely back to their hive.
Animal Underpass – Canada
All throughout Canada, there are overpasses and bridges built to lower the occurrence of animal accidents. This one is set in the middle of a wide-open space in one of the many National Parks.
The double underpass pictured here is one of the vast networks of ways that Canada preserves its precious wildlife and nature. By being so cautious with their natural resources, Canada has been able to maintain its vacation destination ranking.
Crab Tunnel – Christmas Island
Along with the crab bridges, Christmas Island also installed crab tunnels. Due to the landscape, there were just some areas where a tunnel made more sense than a tall bridge that would be entangled with trees.
In order to protect those hard-shelled little crawlers from being squished, the island dug under the roads and gave them another option. It also is good for crabs that may be a little short.
Ecoduct – Banff
It seems like you can drive more than a couple of miles without passing under an overpass or bridge in Canada. The same can be said for ecoducts, which are very similar to bridges.
This one in Banff National Park is not only effective but beautiful to look at. Topped with beautiful green shrubbery, the animals of Banff can feel safe and secure as they migrate across the street to a better part of the neighborhood.
Animal Tunnel – Finland
Sometimes, the underpasses or bridges for animals aren’t necessarily attached to a road. This is especially true for countries that have heavy winter activities like snowmobiles. In Finland, the government has built several animal tunnels under popular treks.
Just like with bridges, this makes sure that the wildlife of the area can get to where they are going without fear of being hit by humans enjoying the winter sports.
Wildlife Crossing – Belgium
Like many European countries, Belgium has plenty of areas where wildlife safety is a concern. Thus, several freeways are fitted with amazing and beautiful wildlife crossings. This helped maintain the safety of select endangered species, as well as everyday ones like deer and rabbits.
Keeping the roads free of carcasses also helps to preserve the lush natural beauty of the land. That is why the government and concerned citizens worked to get these built, and ever since then the number of animal lives saved is staggering.
Penguin Tunnel – New Zealand
A lot of people wouldn’t imagine penguins living in New Zealand, but they do. On the southern island, some areas suffered from these cute little waddlers becoming victims of hit and runs.
That is why there are cities that have not only put up penguin crossing signs but built tunnels to allow the flightless birds to cross the roads safely. This has kept the penguin population intact and safer than they were before.
Animal Bridge – Netherlands
In the Netherlands, they have several endangered species that they felt need to be protected from the dangers of the high-speed vehicles on their roadways.
Among these are the European badger and the wild boar, and because of this amazing bridge, these animals have been able to stay alive. This bridge is also a nice touch of beauty as you drive through the fields of the Netherlands.
Ecoduct – Germany
Everyone has heard of the Autobahn in Germany. It’s the freeway where there are sections with no speed limit, and that means danger for animals trying to cross the road. Hitting an animal at those speeds can cause serious accidents.
The German government has put several ecoducts in place to keep these tragedies from occurring. There is no reason for them to look hideous, though. Thus, like in other parts of the world, they made sure it was not only inviting for the animals but aesthetically pleasing for the humans driving on the roads.
Wildlife Overpass – Montana
Montana is almost nothing but wide-open stretches of wilderness. Its beauty and majesty are in abundance, and that includes its animal population. With hordes of migrating deer and antelope, not to mention bears and other wild animals, the highways of this beautiful state are in danger from the high-speed traffic.
In order to combat that, this state has placed several of these beautiful bridges over the highways and has saved thousands of animals by doing so.
Ecoduct – Luxembourg
Luxembourg is a small landlocked country in Europe that very few people think about when they think of travel through Europe. It’s bordered by both France and Germany, and many people travel through its beautiful countryside.
This makes travel for the four-legged inhabitants a little dangerous. To mitigate the danger and accidents caused by the animals strolling across busy freeways, several ecoducts have been built.
Salamander Tunnels – New England
With larger animals, you can veer when they step on the road. But with smaller animals like salamanders, there is no way. These little reptiles get hit probably the most out of all animals. This is especially true in New England, where there is a wealth of little creatures just scurrying around.
Some of these small creatures are endangered. So to protect them, the citizens partnered with the government and built tunnels under the highways in some spots to allow them to move freely.
Wildlife Bridge – Germany
Like we discussed in one of the bridge entries above, Germany is sort of famous for its autobahn. Many people all over the world dream of driving on a freeway with no speed limits. Though this rule is not for every autobahn, or even for an entire section of it, it is still thrilling.
However, when you think of the wildlife that may be trying to cross it, the idea soon becomes a horror movie in your mind. That is why Germany has constructed several wildlife bridges to keep this from being an ongoing concern.
Salmon Cannon – Washington
Not all animals are land-based, and even the ones that swim upstream need a little help getting over man-made structures. There are many dams built to help with water supplies and electricity among other things. This means that migratory fish, like salmon, sometimes get stuck behind them.
In order to help with this, one company began building Salmon Cannons to help out. We are not sure how safe it is. But it has saved some salmon from not being able to reach their spawning ground.
Ecobridges – Singapore
Singapore is a small island country in Southeast Asia. With its ever-growing population and urbanization, it has found itself encroaching on many natural habitats. This means that many animals find themselves roaming into places they shouldn’t be.
Urbanization means more roads and cars, and that means more safety concerns for these animals. To protect your wildlife, there are many eco-bridges like this one constructed throughout this nation.
Turtle Tunnel – Japan
When you travel to Japan, it is almost inevitable that you will end up on a train or two. One of the little known things that caused some concern for a while was turtles getting on the tracks. The high-speed trains would hit them, and that would be it.
The transit commission decided to install turtle tunnels in the tracks. These tracks are lower and follow along the tracks. This has saved many turtles’ lives since being implemented in select stations.